Mark Helprin waxes in the WSJ.
We Don't Need No Stinking Giant Mirrors
5 hours ago
Mark Helprin waxes in the WSJ.
When your most creative thoughts in the middle of a disaster revolve around protecting your position, you are summoning trouble. When you try to dodge ownership of a problem, when you try to hide from responsibility, life will give you ownership and responsibility the hard way.
These attacks, orchestrated by Japan’s infamous Unit 731 between 1932 and 1945, are the only documented mass use of germ weapons in modern times. Scholars say that we will never know exactly how many were killed. Sheldon H. Harris, the late American historian, estimated in a pioneering work that between 10,000 and 12,000 Chinese prisoners perished in the bloodcurdling experiments that Unit 731 performed in Japanese-occupied Manchuria. Another 300,000 to 500,000 civilians died, he wrote, as a result of Japan’s massive germ assaults on more than 70 Chinese cities and towns. China itself has disclosed no official tally. In fact, for many years, Japan’s use of biological weapons in China was largely forgotten. Only recently has a resurgent China begun to remind Japan—and the world—of the atrocities.If you have a strong stomach, read on.
For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency…where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…Event two: Mexican President Felipe Calderón follows up the speech with a visit with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Amazing and to his credit, Blitzer presses Mr. Calderón on the Mexican immigration laws. Here is the exchange:
BLITZER: So if…Re-read the above emphasized portions and contrast that with his admonishment of the Arizona laws. Maybe the Mexican president is like our Attorney General Holder and he hasn't read the Arizona law. Here's a new thought for the current administration: let's adopt the Mexican immigration laws and ENFORCE them.
CALDERON: — (INAUDIBLE).
BLITZER: So if people want to come from Guatemala or Honduras or El Salvador or Nicaragua, they want to just come into Mexico, they can just walk in?
CALDERON: No. They need to fulfill a form. They need to establish their right name. We analyze if they have not a criminal precedent. And they coming into Mexico. Actually…
BLITZER: Do Mexican police go around asking for papers of people they suspect are illegal immigrants?
CALDERON: Of course. Of course, in the border, we are asking the people, who are you?
And if they explain…
BLITZER: At the border, I understand, when they come in.
BLITZER: But once they’re in…
CALDERON: But not — but not in — if — once they are inside the — inside the country, what the Mexican police do is, of course, enforce the law. But by any means, immigration is a crime anymore in Mexico.
BLITZER: Immigration is not a crime, you’re saying?
CALDERON: It’s not a crime.
BLITZER: So in other words, if somebody sneaks in from Nicaragua or some other country in Central America, through the southern border of Mexico, they wind up in Mexico, they can go get a job…
CALDERON: No, no.
BLITZER: They can work.
CALDERON: If — if somebody do that without permission, we send back — we send back them.
BLITZER: You find them and you send them back?
In the hot Washington afternoon, in one of those endlessly bustling government offices, there sits a man named Michael J. Astrue, the fifty-four-year-old head of the Social Security Administration. Competent, organized, bald, and busy, he is not a politician, exactly, but one of those people who has to live in a highly political world, trying to make what the politicians come up with actually work. …Anagrammarians among you (though perhaps not the author of this piece) doubtless, and correctly, note the identity of M.J. ASTRUE and A.M. JUSTER.
Across the city, in the only slightly less hot Washington evening, in an apartment overlooking Georgetown, sits Astrue’s opposite, a man named A.M. Juster: formalist poet, comic versifier, and classical translator. Eight years ago, Juster won the Richard Wilbur Award for his collection The Secret Language of Women (2002), besides publishing book-length translations of Petrarch (the 2002 Longing for Laura) and Horace (the 2008 Satires).